Jack Strain

Each week we’re introducing you to different people supported by the Bonar Trust. This week, Jack Strain describes his experience as a first-year apprentice at St Silas Church in Glasgow.

 

Jack StrainWhat did you do before your apprenticeship?
I was working as a doctor and had just finished my FY2 year.

 

What are you learning on your study programme at Cornhill?
Currently learning more about how to present/teach God’s word, by giving short explanations of chunks of scripture and being evaluated on the clarity and accuracy of those. Also spending time in Exodus as a worked example of how to approach and teach a Bible book.

 

What does ministry look like day to day?
I am involved in students and kids work at church. For me that means meeting up with students one-to-one to read God’s word and leading weekly student Bible studies, as well as helping to lead a Sunday school group for 8-10s.

 

What’s the most important thing you are learning from the apprenticeship? What have been your highlights?
The most important thing that I am learning so far is that it’s important to keep your head up and look at the big picture of what God is doing and who God is to keep you going day to day, otherwise there are loads of small tasks that you can get bogged down in without trying to see the bigger picture.

The highlights have been seeing new students settle at St Silas and want to come and hear from God through his word, as well as some of the students who were there before who seem to be stuck in with serving at church and CU and are already trying to live for Jesus wholeheartedly.

 

What are you learning through mentoring?
I am being mentored by Martin Ayers the Rector at St Silas. I think his mentoring is currently helping me learn the importance of picking up your convictions and running with them. The worked example that I have been involved with that is starting something new at church, in particular an evangelistic course that we haven’t previously run.

 

What would you like to do after your apprenticeship?
I would like to continue into full-time vocational ministry.

 

If you would like to give to the work of the Bonar Trust and support more individuals like Jack, you can find all the information here.

 

 

Sarah Carson

Each week, we’re introducing you to different people supported by the Bonar Trust. In today’s post, Sarah Carson, a second-year ministry trainee at St Andrews Free Church, tells up about her apprenticeship experience.

 

Sarah Carson

What did you do before your apprenticeship?
I studied Theology at St Andrews.

 

What are you learning on your study programme?
I love Cornhill and am learning so much there! We’re taught the basics of Bible handling and then given lots of opportunities to put what we learn into practice. We’re also given a overview of some key books of the Bible as well as studying how to teach different genres like Old Testament Narrative or New Testament letters. We also think practically about what it’s like to be in ministry and how we can best serve the people we work with, as well as having an introduction to some key Christian doctrines.

 

What does ministry look like day to day?
As part of my role I work mainly with students, reading the Bible one-to-one and in small group contexts seeking to disciple and encourage them in their knowledge of and love for Christ. There’s also lots of opportunity to train others in their ability to teach the Bible, and along with our women’s worker I work with the female Bible study leaders seeking to equip them for the ministry they’re involved in. I’m also involved in helping with the kids’ work, teaching Sunday School and Scramblers and helping to train our Sunday School teachers and do lots of administrative tasks for the day-to-day life of the church family. So, there’s lots to keep me busy, but I love it!

 

What’s the most important thing you are learning from the apprenticeship? What have been your highlights?
I’m learning just how central the Bible is to everything we do as a church and to the Christian life. One of the big things I’ve been learning and convicted of recently is that the gospel is the power of God and it’s sufficient both for Christians and non-Christians. It’s such a privilege to read the Bible with Christians who are at different stages of life and Christian maturity and to point them to Christ in the highs and lows of life. One of the things I was most nervous about when starting the training scheme was reading the Bible one-to-one with people but it’s definitely become one of my highlights. There’s nothing better than reading the Bible with someone and watching as they begin to understand some big Bible truth and think about how it applies to their life, while having your own heart changed and faith encouraged at the same time!

 

What are you learning through mentoring?
I meet regularly with our women’s worker to discuss all things work, life, and ministry. I’ve been learning so much through these regular meetings as I learn from her wisdom and life and ministry experience and also as we talk about different areas of theology and holiness. We’ve read and discussed books which have helped me not only in my discipleship of others but also my own personal growth as I seek to put sins to death and grow in Christlikeness.

 

What would you like to do after your apprenticeship?
I think this is the question that every apprentice dreads! But I’d love to be involved in ministry in some capacity, whether that’s in a full-time capacity or as an active member of a local congregation. Throughout my time as an apprentice I have seen so much of the hard work that goes on behind the scenes of a church and have grown in my understanding of and appreciation for the gospel, and so with the skills and knowledge I have gained I would love to be using them to serve the Church, wherever that is and whatever that looks like!

 

If you would like to give to the work for the Bonar Trust and support more individuals like Sarah, you can find all the information here.